Deciding on the size of your guest list is always a daunting task.  Simplify the task by compiling addresses (with postal codes or zip codes) well in advance so that the final addressing part of the process will be painless.  You should consider the folowing factors when deciding on the target number of guests.

~Would you prefer a small intimate wedding where you can enjoy the presnce of each person or do you dream of a huge bash inviting everyone you know?  Visualizing the reception of your dreams will help you narrow down the decision.

~$$$$- inevitable budget will play a large role in your decision.  For food and liquor there is a per head cost so the more guests- the higher the bill for these things.  There are ways to reduce the per head cost- hiring a friend or service club to cater a simple meal is an option.   A dinner buffet instead of a seated dinner can also bring down your cost per person.

~Make sure you discuss with guest list with both sets of parents- especially if they are paying a portion of the bill.  They may have friends and co-workers that they wish to include on the guest list and it is best to have everyone’s plans on the table before you start finalizing and making cuts or additions to the guest list.

~Sometimes the guest list size is dictated by the venue of choice.  Chapels, halls, churches and ballrooms all have a set maximum capacity and you cannot go beyond this number.

~Large extended families and circles of friends can make a guest list enormous.  You can also consider holding a more casual event after the actual wedding so that you can invite (and actually enjoy the company) of friends and family that you were not able to include in the actual reception.

Most people understand that there needs to be a line drawn somewhere and are not offended when they are not invited.  Relax and try to enjoy the process.  You will not be able to invite all the people who are important to you to the actual wedding but that doesn’t mean you can’t include them in the wedding process.  You can have a pre-wedding cocktail party, an after-wedding barbeque or even a wedding photo screening party.